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Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 12:15am
Saw this tonight and have mixed emotions about it. Some things were excellent and other aspects were very uneven, particularly in the storytelling department.

The best thing about the movie is easily Rooney Mara. I thought she was absolutely perfect, and SPOILER? the rape scene and the revenge tattoo scene were both powerful, and Mara gave me everything I wanted from Lisbeth in those moments.

Daniel Craig was also perfectly cast. The two of them together will make this a power franchise for sure.

The opening credits are awesome, and the film score heightens the atmosphere.

I'm a big fan of the books, and I realize in any novel to screen adaptation things will have to cut and altered, but I think they made some key errors in this area.

I don't know if you would consider the rest of what I have to say qualifies as spoilers territory, but if you're nervous, don't read on.

Pretty much nothing about Millennium is left in the movie. The magazine plays in pretty big role in the trilogy, so I thought they should have spent some more time fleshing those characters and plotlines out.

The Vanger family members are not developed at all. Cecilia for example no longer has an affair with Mikael; in fact she probably has only about 2 minutes of screen time. The book it felt like this massive tangle of 50 family members with motives and secrets. It felt overwhelming in a good way. This is a near impossible cold case Mikael is trying to solve- it should feel hopeless and against all odds, but in the movie it seems all too easy to solve.

I hated how the changed the ending with Harriet not being in Australia, but really being the one in London, not Anita. So what happened to Anita?!?! It's not explained, and quite frankly is confusing.

David Fincher is an excellent director, no question, but his biggest misstep for me was the use of so many flashbacks. One of the key characteristics of a decade old cold case is there is no fresh evidence; you are relying on people's memories of the events. Mikael basically solves the case through studying old photographs (something I was drawn too in the novel), and yes in the movie there is much examination of the pictures snapped by various people. I wish we were left a little more in the dark by only getting to hear the memories and not see them re-enacted.

I don't want to sound too down about it...I still thought it was a good movie, mainly because of the performances, but felt it could have been much better, especially when it clocks in at 2:40.

Finally, I haven't seen the Swedish movies. Can anyone compare the book, Swedish film and the Fincher version?
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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canmark
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/07
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 06:37am
I thought it was a well made movie (although it seemed like it was over 20 minutes before it actually ended) and there were good performances from Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig, but overall I preferred the original Swedish version. I preferred Noomi Rapace's Lisbeth Salander, too, as I thought she seemed more damaged than Rooney Mara (although she was fine). The opening credits were interesting, but their resemblance to James Bond title credits (and Daniel Craig being in the movie), may set one up thinking it's going to be an action flick when it's not. I think some younger people in the audience were bored. I actually saw some walkouts from the theatre.
Coach Bob knew it all along: you've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. You have to keep passing the open windows. (John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire)
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romantico
Broadway Legend
joined:3/6/05
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 06:47am
I saw the original. WHY IN THE HELL did this film need to be remade?
'There are three sides to every story. My side, your side, and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently' -Robert Evans-
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 08:17am
The last 20 minutes seemed tacked on because they did such a poor job explaining the Wennerstrom case. With almost everything at Millennium cut they almost should have just focused on the Harriet case.

SPOILER- Of course they had to include Wennerstrom so Lisbeth could steal all the money, and that's pretty much his only function in this movie.
END SPOILER

Also I was sad Armansky was so sidelined in this film. I know he isn't SO essential to the plot, but as one of the few people who believed in Lisbeth and looked out for her I would have liked to see him better developed.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Q
Broadway Legend
joined:11/3/05
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 08:34am
Romantico - it's simple numbers. While the original grossed a little over 100 mil worldwide, almost all of that was foreign (just a little over 10 mil domestic.) They'll easily make many times that domestically with the US version, and there'll be enough interest internationally for the 'slicker' Hollywood overhaul to pull more money from them.
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violet72
Broadway Legend
joined:12/12/06
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 08:42am
Haven't seen this one yet but I saw the Sweedish one and read the books. The Swedish movie was good but it cut alot from the book as well. But the acting was wonderful

In the Swedish movie- he doesn't have the affair with Cecilia, if I remember correctly she is in it for like 2 minutes. Not alot about Millenium in the first one, the make up for that in the 2 other movies. Wasn't really explained how she was a researcher for the company. Didn't go into her relationship with her first guardian and how she was there when he had the stroke and thought he was dead. They met in the movie quicker then they met in the book. It was good though and worth you checking out to compare
"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life. Define yourself"
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romantico
Broadway Legend
joined:3/6/05
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 09:06am
I actually have friends who will not see any film no matter how good it is, if they have to read subtitles. Hollywood remakes foreign films all the time for this reason alone. I've seen all three of the films so maybe I'll see this one on cable or once out on DVD just to compare the two.
'There are three sides to every story. My side, your side, and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently' -Robert Evans-
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 09:23am
For those who have seen the Swedish version, did you see the theatrical release or the expanded mini-series cut?

SPOILERS for the Swedish films-

Does the first one end with them finding Harriet in Australia? Why change that pretty big plot point for the Fincher version? Is the Cecilia affair perhaps in the mini-series, but edited out for the theatrical release?

I feel like it's a pretty telling incident about Mikael that he is willing to have a fairly substantial sexual relationship with her.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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frogs_fan85
Broadway Legend
joined:12/3/05
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 09:30am
"I hated how the changed the ending with Harriet not being in Australia, but really being the one in London, not Anita. So what happened to Anita?!?! It's not explained, and quite frankly is confusing."

I'm pretty sure Harriet said at the end of the movie that Anita and her husband died in a car crash 20 years prior.

I liked the film a lot. As mentioned earlier the title sequence and the score were fantastic. I missed having Armansky in the film. Millenium will hopefully play a bigger role in the second film. I was OK with the elimination of the affair with Cecilia. The movie was long enough to begin with, plus I think considering the casting of Cecilia and Bloomkvist it would seem odd that an affair would even take place.
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WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 09:53am
Frogs fan- But where was Anita? If Harriet assumed Anita's identity wouldn't Anita have had to disappear as well, or am I missing something here? Did Anita go off and live a secret life as well? I guess I didn't understand why the filmmakers made this change from the book.

The casting of Cecilia was not like I pictured her from the book. Wasn't she described as somewhat overweight and a little homely?
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
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violet72
Broadway Legend
joined:12/12/06
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 09:58am
Didn't see the mini series version but in the movie she was just questioned by him and then nothing else...there was no Anita in the swedish movie...just an email to him from Lisbeth and he hops a plane and finds Harriet in Australia...also Armansky was cut from this one too...he was in 1 maybe 2 scenes
"Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life. Define yourself"
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frogs_fan85
Broadway Legend
joined:12/3/05
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 10:58am
I think, but I'm not positive, that Harriet escapes in Anita's car and Harriet then lives a secret life (presumably for 20 years), but assumes Anita's identify upon her death. It's not exactly the most logical string of events.
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sabrelady
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/03
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 02:36pm
On the whole- I liked it - but still prefer the originals. I think Fincher was being too careful not to seem like he'd cribbed too much from the original. I missed that sense of cold and isolation the original had with all the white & gray tinges in the sweeping crane shots.
Slight edge again to Noomi- her Salander was scary- Mara's is more wounded tho both nail the character's inner demons/strength.
The ending was probably so they didn't have to go to Australia to shoot!- missed the whole Anita/ Harriet/necklace thing but it was a tad convoluted. Anita ended up being the one who got married and took her married name so Harriet could be Anita instead. I think the affair w Cecilia was eliminated for time and also co Micke just cats around SO much in the books ( hey if u can't live vicariously thru your characters...) he'd look even more callous if he is snoging Cece & Riki and breaking Lisbeth's heart further and he is supposed to be a hero damit!
Also they left out the prison time he serves in the book & the orig films which extends the time line considerably (& realistically) IF there is a 2nd film Micke also ends up doing Harriet too so not sure how they would handle that. In the book, He & Lisbeth's affair is protacted ( the time in his own cottage) here it seems almost like a trench warfare relationship- one that doen't survive when the imminent threat is past.

And a personal issue- I LIKED the "Kalle" references in the book- it really helped w the semse of anchoring it in another place w a reference that EVERYone from Sweden would get. And it's a great ****ing tagline for Lisbeth i the 2nd book!
Words that confuse censors:Fecund,penal,taint, titmouse, cockatoo,coccyx, ballcock, cockeye, prickly,kumquat, titter,cunning linguist, insertion, gobble, guzzle, swallow, manhole, rimshot,ramrod,come, fallacious, lugubrious,rectify,Uranus, angina, paradiddle,spotted dick,dictum, frock,cunctation, engorge,turgid,stiff, bush, uvula, crapulence, masticate, Dick Butkus, gherkin and of course the always bewildering lickety split. As you can see, context is every thing. Chuck Lorre Addendum: 555 382 5968 "Sexarama, Hexarama, Queeriosis, Feariosis!" Alec Baldwin "Happiness is up to you. You just have to understand what it is before you get it." -Elaine Stritch
Gothampc
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/03
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 07:58pm
I saw the Swedish films. I think they did the best job they could with the material. There's a lot in the books and some things had to be trimmed and cut or the movie would have been five hours long.

They did show Michael going to Australia and finding Harriet.

My problem was with the guy who played Michael Blomkvist. He didn't seem to be the ladies man that was portrayed in the book. It's hard to believe women wanted to sleep with that actor.
Do Swedish Women Find Him Attractive?
If anyone ever tells you that you put too much Parmesan cheese on your pasta, stop talking to them. You don't need that kind of negativity in your life.
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broadwaybaby086
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/06
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/22/11 at 10:45pm
So many spoilers in this thread.

I have read the first book and part of the second, and did not appreciate the revelation of "All the Evil" in the movie. I'm not sure if what she mentions is the whole event, but having just finished the first book, it completely blindsided me as entirely new information. Otherwise, the movie felt rushed, comparably, which is to be expected to a degree, but it felt as if it was moving at light speed.

Now, backing out of this thread again until I finish the trilogy.
"I'll cut you, Tracee Beazer!!!! ...Just kidding. I'd never cut anyone." -Tina Maddigan, 9/30/06, WS stage door
Avatar: JULIE "EFFING" WHITE, 2007 TONY WINNER. Thank God. I'm thinking about legally changing my name to Lizzie Curry...
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Silence = Death
Leading Actor
joined:2/4/06
Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Posted: 12/23/11 at 01:48am
My biggest problem with the American version is how much Lisbeth seems to open up as soon as she has sex with Mikael. She becomes chatty, she tells him about her past, and he gets so comfortable that he walks right up to her and puts his hand in her shirt. In the books (and even in the Swedish movies), it is obvious that Lisbeth starts falling in love and definitely respects him but that doesn't completely make her break away from the way that she has been for years. She is very closed-off about her feelings with him, to the point where she doesn't really see it happening. In the American version, it seems pretty obvious and Mikael basically just ignores it once they're done.

But...beyond that...I really loved the movie. I prefer the Swedish movies but honestly, they are completely separate interpretations of the books - in a positive way.
"That's what writers do. We cut ourselves open and just bleed all over the page."

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